The days before the performance opens are very special. This week, called tech week, is when all of the elements of the performance come together for the first time - dance artists, choreography, costumes, multimedia projection, sound, set, lighting design. In the darkened theater, time slips away as the whole team dives deeper into the process before adding the final element of performance - the audience.
Tech week is a practice in mindfulness. For several hours each day, the sole focus of the cast and crew is to bring the dream, the sweat, tears, frustrations, and joys of the past few months to full realization on stage.
I asked the KYL/D team to share their thoughts regarding tech week:
Dance Artist Evalina “Wally” Carbonell:
Yay!! I am excited to live under the lights. There’s nothing like the warmth of the theater, even when it’s chilly! I am most looking forward to bringing the piece to life with all the other components. As dancers, we have built and lived in our unique world together for the past year, and it will be exciting to see the environment that the set, projection, and lighting designers create for us on stage. Some of my favorite things about tech week are dancing in my costume (the fabrics for this project feel incredible), and getting familiar with the theater when it’s still just us (there’s something special about our last time together without the audience).
Dance Artist Grace Stern:
What I look forward to about tech week is going into the theater and losing track of time doing the thing I love most. For Faith Project I am excited for all of the different pieces coming together! It will be the first time working with the actual projections!
Dance Artist Annielille Gavino:
I love getting to chat with my peers. The hours are long so we get to catch up. In rehearsal we can’t do that and life gets busy so there's small talk but not actual conversations... So in a way it’s like camping in the theater.
Dance Artist Keila Perez-Vega:
I look forward to seeing the production of this dance come to life with projection, music, set design, lighting and costumes. It's incredible how we spend hours rehearsing in a space that will change the week of the show. It brings new excitement reorienting yourself on stage with new components that bring new perspectives to the piece. As we, the dancers, spend a lot of time together the week of the show it builds a lovely sense of community before sharing a work for others to see.
Artistic Director Kun-Yang Lin:
It's incredibly exciting when all of the contributions -- of dance artists, collaborators, production team, staff and Board -- cultivated over months harmonize and manifest on the stage. At the same time you realize that you are no longer in control -- if you ever were.
Executive Director Ken Metzner: Tech week for me means that the heretofore mostly private stew of investments, frustrations, experiments, surprises and discoveries is almost ready for sharing with the public. I feel energized, grateful, anxious and terrified all at once.
Business Development Manager Katie Moore: I'm really excited about KYL/D using multimedia design for the first time. Although Jared has played around with projection design in the studio, we are using a lot more equipment for the final shows. I'm so excited to see how lighting, set, costumes, multimedia and the choreography all tie together on stage. Also I’m looking forward to celebrating the 10th Anniversary of KYL/D. So many people have been a part of helping KYL/D create and perform contemporary dance in Philadelphia for the past 10 years. It's no easy feat and deserves to be praised!
Thought Partner Kimerer LaMothe: Time picks up speed, and acquires a life of its own, relentlessly carrying you forward. Blasts of energy appear within you and around you, unexpectedly lifting you up, buffeting you sideways, and propelling you deeper into the dance. Sometimes the fear is acute, the anticipation arresting. But if you can breathe deeply and ride the waves, there is great joy — to feel and to share.
KYL/D’s 10th Anniversary and the world premier of Faith Project/THE DOOR opens tonight! See you in the theater!
~ Jessica Warchal-King
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Major support for Faith Project has been provided by The Pew Center for Art & Heritage, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts